So I’m at a convention dinner last night with a decent size crowd of 16. Lots of heavy lumber (literally) being poured: Caymus SS, Shafer HS and a couple other Cai Cabs popping 15%. As I have a heavy schedule today, including some live public hearings, I went easy, pretty much just sipping these wines, drinking lots of sparkling water. These young, big cabs really don’t do it for me.
And somehow out of this evening blossomed a 2000 Cheval Blanc. The graciousness of the host, a great friend, who knew I was more old world than new. So I did not regale the crowd with my boorish snobby behavior, but a lively discussion of old world v. New world came to the fore (I swear I didn’t start it). A much finer topic than Trump v. Clinton at one of these things.
The wine is gorgeous. This is a cab franc lovers paradise. The 2000 seems to show more of the cab franc presence than some prior vintages that I have enjoyed. This is also a very surprisingly open, medium weight wine for the vintage. Soaring nose of red berries, ecaulyptus, spice box, wet earth and some musk. Impeccably balanced on the palate, tannins nearly resolved, beautiful display of the red and dark fruit spectrum, but lifted with a healthy dose of acidity and a spline of green (herbaceousness). Quite refreshing after the heavy cabs consumed all night. A really nice balance of the qualities that I adore in cab franc softened with some sweet, darker merlot fruits.
My resolve ended. As the crowd had dissipated, and those that remained seemed to migrate toward the cabs, I got to enjoy 1/3 or more of this lovely, classic bottle.
Marc, that’s a cool link. Find me some of those predominant Cab Franc Bordeaux blends - they seem pretty small production - and I’ll pick them up for or our next tasting. I have some more Les Carmes Haut Brion coming in, some mature, some new.
LOL – a huge advantage of drinking with California wine lovers! After enough glasses of 15% alcohol heavy hitters that are explosively fruit forward, you’re not going to be in shape to appreciate a wine like this.
We also popped some 2013 Scarecrow M. Etain and 2012 Dana Estate Onda. I gotta tell you, the bitter oak astringency on the Scarecrow was a major turn-off. Yea, young for sure, but has anyone had some of these wines with age on them to see how they assimilate that wood?